The Florida Keys, at the southern tip of America’s 48 contagious states, are well worth a visit, but a drive from home is most likely a serious commitment. For most travelers, it makes sense to fly south and include Florida Keys car rentals in the plans. Whether they want to find a car rental in Key West, Marathon Key, or on the mainland, visitors will find many options for securing the transportation they need.
The Keys are known for their scenic drives. US Highway 1, also called the Overseas Highway, runs through the main islands. The 127-mile route follows the path of the former railroad that Henry Flagler built, essentially opening the Keys to tourism. For those interested in knowing more about the railroad’s history, they can consider driving to Marathon Key in their Florida Keys car rentals and walking over the old railroad bridge to Pigeon Key.
This island where the railroad workers lived has become a historic site, a nature center, and a marine educational center. Marathon is the center of the Keys, making it a strategic place to secure rental cars. Its airport, which is served by daily flights from Fort Myers airport and charters from around the world, has car rental counters on-site. So, not long after passengers have stepped off their flights, they can climb into Marathon rental cars and begin exploring places such as the Crane Point Museum, boutique shops, and Coco Plum Beach.
The Marathon airport is one of the best places for visitors who want to use a car rental in Islamorada. The island, primarily known for its fishing, diving, and other eco-tours, is about a 45-minute drive away, making the airport the closet place to find a rental car. Many others who visit the Keys find their car rental in Key West. The multicultural city, steeped in history and celebrated for its nightlife, is home to the other major airport in the Florida Keys, which is served by several different companies that provide Key West car rentals. With desks right in the terminal, travelers will find a convenient way to take care of the paperwork and get the keys without much hassle.
Travelers also can find a car rental in Key West away from the airport. Several companies are found along Roosevelt Boulevard, just off the Overseas Highway. After vacationers have their cars, they will find an array of places to explore; they just need to decide where to start.
In addition to Key West car rentals, travelers can get around in a number of ways, including taxis, shuttle buses, narrated trolley tours, and bicycle rentals. The city is easy to explore on foot as well. Public buses stop at many sites around the island and go as far north as Marathon Key and Mile Marker 50. The Upper Keys are serviced by one of the routes of Miami-Dade Transit.
When planning for Florida Keys car rentals, travelers also can consider flying into an airport on the mainland and driving south. The Miami and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood airports are located about an hours’ drive from Key Largo. Both of these major airports are served by a variety of companies, which means a good rate can be easy to find. As an alternative to Key West Car rentals, flying into the mainland airports and driving will take about two hours, but this scenic drive is sure to prove that getting there is half the fun.
Image: Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau/HO